Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Baudrillard Abstract

Here is my abstract for the paper I will be giving at the Baudrillard workshop that is happening tomorrow at Newcastle University:
Title: International Relations of Deterrence Machines: Taking the Trivial Seriously

Abstract: Baudrillard, throughout his career, took consumption seriously and in the spirit of continuing to take consumption seriously this paper argues the discipline of International Relations (IR) now needs to consider international tourism as a body of study. My main argument is there requires an understanding of what Jean Baudrillard labels ‘deterrence machines’ in global tourism. For Baudrillard these deterrence machines do not function upon a true or false dichotomy, but rather creates a (false) reality principle of distinguishing between the real and unreal. (In)Famously Baudrillard provides the example of Disneyland, as a deterrence machine, which serves to convince people that inside Disneyland is fantasy and imaginary, while outside Disneyland, the USA, is the real. The paper extends this observation to examine how the Caribbean is produced as a deterrence machine in what Mark Poster has called ‘The Second Media Age.’ The focus is on how people, through consumption, and second media age technologies, encounter Caribbean tourism as product to create their self-identity. The result is time has moved on from Descartes’ ‘I think, therefore I am’ to Massumi’s ‘I Shop, therefore I am.

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